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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

BYU library discontinues Kindle pilot program

According to an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University has discontinued its Kindle loaning program for university faculty because written consent from Amazon has not been received. University spokesman, Rogen Layton commented, “I understand the Inter-Library Loan Department had a few Kindles, and they set up a system to check them out as a test. Being a library, we will follow the rules and until the rules are clear we will wait.”

As mentioned in a previous posting, the library recently purchased three Kindles to loan to faculty after realizing that an additional 10% of cancelled requests could be filled with just one Kindle. In April, the library received verbal consent from an Amazon rep noting that the Amazon Kindle: License Agreement and Terms of Use was sufficient but a response to their request for written consent has not been received.

In the past, Amazon has provided mixed responses when asked if libraries can loan the devices. According to an article from the Library Journal, Amazon's official position on the issue is that lending Kindles is a violation of its terms of use. However, other libraries including the Criss Library at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, have been lending Kindles for several months without incident. Director of patron services at the Criss Library, Joyce Neujahr, said that the library has not sought approval from Amazon but has consulted law professors who say that the License Agreement and Terms of Use statement is sufficient and only prohibits profiting from the distribution of content to a third party. Neujahr commented, We do not see a violation of the terms of service agreement. We have purchased the content on the Kindle, and loan the Kindle just like we loan a hardcover, print book. The difference is where that purchased book resides. Whether it is on a shelf, or on a Kindle, we have still purchased the title.” Neujahr added that the devices are nearly always on hold and many patrons have purchased Kindles themselves after borrowing one from the library.

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